Kings XI Karnataka take Punjab past SRH
When life throws difficult challenges at you, You need someone close to Your heart around you to help you overcome the challenges life lays forth. KL Rahul found his best friend Mayank motivating and helping him classily to take Punjab the finish line this time. When they needed 39 off the last 5 overs, many feared the CSK endgame might come around again and it did too but this time the Indian international calmly took the franchise to make it 3 in 3 at their home. SRH having been put into bat first, were straight away pegged back by Mujeeb Ur Rehman as he sent back Bairstow early and bought in the fragile SRH middle order to the game. As it turned out, the pitch which gripped, yielded no freebies for the batsman, not even for Warner in the form of his life and their run rate was straight away at the receiving end of the spectrum. Warner reached to his 50, his slowest of the IPL but it was needed from him to accelerate the proceedings, which were heavily dented by the excellence of Mohammed Shami and Mujeeb Ur Rehman and even the Captain R Ashwin. They never really escaped the haunches and with Deepak Hooda sent over his Baroda senior Pathan going berserk at an otherwise economical Shami, with the help of 14 of the last 3 bowls, KXIP were put a target of 151 for the victory which looked distant at one point in time. KL Rahul and Gayle started with a flourish but the Universe Boss was removed early and the two Karnataka men on crease now, it looked set for a thriller. Mayank Agarwal has easily found his class this season as he is making for his path breaking domestic season even in the IPL. For everyone watching the game from the sidelines and even for KL Rahul watching him from the non striker’s end, like he might always have had from childhood, Mayank makes for a delightful watching of the elegant strokeplays and a serene non brutish class. Punjab looked sailing with both the friends on song but in the end it ended far too closely than it must really have. Nabi who was left to bowl the last over in the wettish conditions with 11 in bank and an inexperienced Curran on strike took the back of the umpire but it was all meant to be in vain with the class of KL Rahul on full display. With this win, KXIP move up the points table with 8 points in 6 games and SRH have been thrown at with a lot of questions regarding their middle order which they would have to answer soon, otherwise the fate can be really different from what was expected of them.